Conan Exiles Hands-on Preview – Brutal, Building, Barbarians

Conan Exiles Impressions

If you think that survival, crafting, and building are three things that don’t mesh naturally with the savagery of a barbarian landscape, you would be terribly mistaken. In fact, these things mix extremely well, as is evident with Conan Exiles.

Conan Exiles is the upcoming release by Funcom that takes a sandbox style game set in the Conan the Barbarian universe and opens it up to a massive crafting system where making it through each day is the biggest priority.

The four pillars of the game are: Survive, build, dominate and explore. You begin your journey as an outcast left to die in the desert and must use combat and crafting to build your own base, defend yourself against enemy players and solve the mystery of why you were exiled to this land in the first place. Thirst, hunger, and different environmental dangers including temperature and weather pose a threat to the player and the world is wide open with resources for players to utilize and play with. Virtually every surface in the game can be climbed or built on, with almost limitless potential for what can be created.

In true Conan fashion, you can strip down naked, torture NPCs until they become your allies, or ambush other players and take all their stuff. While the game is not meant to be story driven and focuses on crafting and survival, it provides an experience that is not intimidating in any way to those who are new to the genre. Beautiful, intricate dungeons are designed for players to explore in a more RPG-oriented style and a single player mode is available with access to an admin panel that allows the player to craft, create and have fun with no threat of danger — similar to the Creative mode in Minecraft.


“…the adventures I had during my first playthrough left me undeniably wanting more.”

While there are seemingly infinite options for what the player can build and create, my first impressions of the game have left me wondering if this is enough to keep players entertained for months on end, or if they will tire quickly of the simplicity of NPC combat and lack of overall story motivation. For fans of this genre, I remain optimistic that they will enjoy the vast landscape and creative options at their disposal, and the adventures I had during my first playthrough left me undeniably wanting more.

Conan Exiles launches fully on May 8, 2018, on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, but early access to the game is available on Xbox One and PC now.